Open water: Finnish skate adventure makes a splash

Roope Tonteri, Jaakko Ojanen and friends go mad on a floating miniramp in central Finland!
© Florian Hopfensperger
By Niall Neeson

Just to make it clear from the start – yes, this is a floating mini ramp complete with sauna. As you do.

The background to the escapade, which led to the edit you are now enjoying, is as follows: Finland’s Roope Tonteri had a ramp, some epic scenery, and a big idea.

By roping in his dad and old friend Jaakko Tossavainen, he set about trying to turn his (frankly mad) idea into a reality: they would build a ramp complex on a barge, and float it on the lake right where he lives. Eero Ettala and some hired guns from home and abroad jumped onboard, a few creature comforts were added, and out into the blue yonder of one of Finland’s great lakes the beast sailed.

Once freed from the shackles of land, the team – which by now included Jaakko Ojanen, Willis Kimbel and Farid Ulrich – would sail the ramp across the lake to Roope’s hideaway in the woods. During a few lost, meandering days on board, the skaters broke themselves off, pushing the ramp and themselves to the edge of good sense. Into, out of, back into the ramp, into the lake, into the sauna – rules were broken but thankfully no limbs. The video at the top of this article is testament to what went down during a lost weekend in paradise.

What became of the floating ramp/sauna? Well, the ramp is still being skated right now, although whether it will ever have another experience like mid-summer in Finland… well, who knows?

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